Jump to content
Chinese-forums.com
Learn Chinese in China

Sign in to follow this  
Ian_Lee

Motive for intervention in the Korean War

Recommended Posts

Ian_Lee

The casualty figure that PVA just lost about one-tenth of its troops (144,000 out of 1.3 million) during the 4-year long Korean War was a gross under-estimate.

In a war which their adversary was much better equipped in fire power and whose airforce almost completely controlled the sky, PVA would be more likely to suffer a much heavier casualty than merely one-tenth of its manpower.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Site Sponsors:
Pleco for iPhone / Android iPhone & Android Chinese dictionary: camera & hand- writing input, flashcards, audio.
Study Chinese in Kunming 1-1 classes, qualified teachers and unique teaching methods in the Spring City.
Learn Chinese Characters Learn 2289 Chinese Characters in 90 Days with a Unique Flash Card System.
Hacking Chinese Tips and strategies for how to learn Chinese more efficiently
Popup Chinese Translator Understand Chinese inside any Windows application, website or PDF.
Chinese Grammar Wiki All Chinese grammar, organised by level, all in one place.

ananda

It's meaningless to guess who would win and who would lost only

comparing the weapon, or else KMT wouldn't lost china to the

communists. In fact, the US didn't occupy the sky as what you

said, there were many USSR pilots in the name of PVA joined

the Korean war too.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Ian_Lee

There is no need to guess the result of the war because everybody already knew -- it was a stalemate.

The boundary between the North and South lied roughly on the same place where the war started on June 22, 1950 at the 38 degree North parallel with minor adjustment.

General Peng Dehuai occupied Seoul in 1952 but today it is still the capital of the "puppet" ROK.

But besides land, the South definitely won the war. Samsung occupies the billboard on the Boulevard leading from the airport to Beijing while the North Koreans try to sneak into every foreign embassy compound in Beijing.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
ananda

why your mind jump here and there? we just talk about

that facts, right? I can't catch your logic. :conf

come on, my stone head need your democratical salvation,

don't be so unpatient.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Ian_Lee
my stone head need your democratical salvation

Whoever has mentioned democracy in this topic?

Well, the relentless backing of Kim Dynasty by PRC from 1950-present has surpassed the US backing of Chiang Dynasty by any standard.

Probably PRC will continue to back the son of Kim Jong Il when the Kim Jr-Jr succeeds the throne :D

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
woodcutter

I did my MA thesis in this. I'm ashamed to say I'm learning things here though.

I can tell you though that this whole idea of Mao wanting to kill off his army in Korea is pretty unusual, most people think this desicion was largely to do with Chinese/Soviet relations. Remember that communism and ideas of brotherhood were very powerful at that time. Mao agonized about the decision, but I think that the CCP knew full well that Stalin would benefit most, having China fight his battles for him. That is why people seek alternative explanations for the very risky desicion to go to war. I already gave my own take on it.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Disenchant
The casualty figure that PVA just lost about one-tenth of its troops (144,000 out of 1.3 million) during the 4-year long Korean War was a gross under-estimate.

In terms of deaths, losing 1/10 is very high in warfare. That's why I specifically stressed 'fatalities.' Maybe you didn't notice, and maybe you're backpaddling. 'Casualty' totals are closer to 400K. Also forgot to note Encarta is wrong on the American fatalities as well. It's very close to Vietnam numbers -- 40,000-50,000.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Disenchant

Those are Cold War figures, when the West probably knew more about the Moon than China.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
yonglan

How did I find this old post? I don't know.

Ian, MacArthur had made clear comments about wanting to cross the Yalu. That was the start of what got him fired (' cause Harry told him to shut up and he wouldn't). Doug would have had the boys back for xmas, but he insisted on picking another fight. As a side note, it is amuzing that while most Americans think Doug was an arse, most koreans love him (can't cite this, just my gut). Yeah, yeah, double invasion saved the day, I know, but I just find it funny.

Quest, Ian works for the CCP.

A typical Western article would have something like this - "Over a million Tibetans have been killed by the Chinese communist government according to reliable sources." or "Sources estimated that hundreds of thousands of students were killed in the TianAnMen massacre."

"typical"

No article ever said "hundreds of thousands" were killed at Tiananmen. I can't remember seeing any mainstream publication going over 2,500. I also don't remember seeing 1 million Tibetans killed.

The beginning of the war was caused by North Korea wanting to "liberate" take over South Korea,

Actually the war was started by the US and the South instigating a fight with the North. Before the North rolled over the border the US/South had on numerous occasions over a period of months started little skirmishes and crossed the border themselves.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
bhchao

MacArthur had a big ego and was very upset that the Chinese prevented him from fulfilling the pledge of "having the boys home by Christmas". He also wanted Chiang to send KMT troops to Korea to fight alongside UN troops against the Communists. Not only that, he wanted to use atomic weapons against China too!

The successful counteroffensives led by his successor, General Ridgway, that pushed the communists back made MacArthur look like a fool. It showed that the communists can be held back without extending the war outside of Korea.

Dugout Doug paid for his arrogance at the end. Ironically he received a flattering reception from the American public and Congress when he returned to the States. 50 years later Americans see him as an egotistical general who was only concerned with his public image.

Actually the war was started by the US and the South instigating a fight with the North. Before the North rolled over the border the US/South had on numerous occasions over a period of months started little skirmishes and crossed the border themselves.

Yonglan, I doubt that was the case. I originally thought the war was started by the North's rapid invasion of the South to unify the entire peninsula under communist rule, just like Ho Chi Minh wanted to unify North and South Vietnam under communist rule.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
yonglan

Certainly, I agree with you about the ultimate cause. I was just refering to the outbreak of full out war in 1950. I should have been more clear.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Itchyfeet

I recall one historian writing that to have US forces marching towards the North Korean-China border would have been analagous to the US to communist forces marching up Mexico towards the Rio Grande. Claims by the US that they had no intention of crossing into the PRC would have provided little comfort to Beijing (and, at any rate, MacArthur was making some very loud noises at the time about extending the war to China). Beijing had warned the US through the Indian Ambassador at the time (I think his name was Panerjee, but can't remember) that an attempt to broaden the war beyond the 38th parallel and towards the Yalu would bring CHinese intervention. The US discounted the seriousness of such threats, with MacArthur telling Truman (I think at Wake Island) that the Chinese would either not intervene, or, if they did, the UN force would easily repell them.

Beyond this, I agree with Woodcutter re intervention being a way for Mao to curry favour with Moscow. Despite the conclusion of the Sino-Soviet Treaty in early 1950, Stalin still seemed to doubt Mao's credentials, fearing he might be an Asian Tito.

(I'm sorry if I've repeated anything from the earlier Indiana link; it seems to be a dead link or something and I couldn't get through tothe site)

There are plenty of unresolved historiographical arguments vis-a-vis China's entry into the Korean War, but the idea that Mao was looking to drain the PLA of "undesirables" is - and I think I'm being generous - unsubstantiated nonsense. The record points to a Chinese leadership which made the decision to intervene with great reluctance.

As to evidence, there has been quite a bit come out recently, though more from the archives of the former Soviet Union than from China. The Cold War International History Project produces some of the most cutting edge, multi-archival, cross-language, research out there. This stuff has been around since mid-90s i think, but worth a look-see for anyone interested.

http://wwics.si.edu/index.cfm?topic_id=1409&fuseaction=library.Collection&class=New%20Evidence%20on%20the%20Korean%20Wa

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
bhchao

Itchyfeet, regarding your first paragraph, I also read about that too. I forgot what book though. The Indian ambassador's name was Pannikkar. Since the US and China did not have diplomatic relations at that time, Zhou Enlai asked Pannikkar to pass a warning to the State Department not to advance to the Yalu, or face Chinese intervention.

Truman and Secretary of State Acheson thought Zhou Enlai's warning was a bluff. They thought that the Chinese would not have the cojones to wage war against American and UN forces in Korea just one year after the end of a long all-out civil war. The Chinese intervention took them by surprise and ticked MacArthur off.

Actually if you look back 360 years before the start of the Korean War, the Chinese also intervened in Korea when a foreign force was advancing rapidly towards its Yalu River border. During the 1592 and 1597 Japanese invasions of Korea, the Ming sent an expeditionary force into Korea to help repel the Japanese invaders.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Cyberian
I also don't remember seeing 1 million Tibetans killed.

I will have to agree with Quest. I also see the "1 million Tibetans killed" line from pro-SFT and other simular organizations. Just type in the the magic number and the organizations in a search engine, and you will see the typical estimate BS.

I guess the reason so many were not willing to go back to China is because China does not honor returning POW. PLA wanted its soldiers to fight to death.

Not sure if that is true. But an alternative reason I read is because the PVA would feel lost of face for coming back empty-handed; therefore, they rather stay there and continue fighting to win or die trying.

Of course, those surrendered KMT soldiers were equipped with weapons to fight with UN. How? Very easy. Haven't you heard the "human wave" strategy? Those surrendered KMT soldiers would hold rifles on the front while real PLA soldiers holding machine guns and stationed on the rear. The KMT soldiers could only charge forward and if they chickened out and turned backward, they would be killed by the PLA.

Got a source?

I don't see how the human wave strategy could work as the bullets can penetrate through the human body and hit others behind. Makes no sense to drain the enemies' ammo.

Because Mao would probably "expend" them again for the worldwide proletariat movement.

What Worldwide Proletariat Movement? :roll: The PLA was not even suffient enough to cross the Taiwan Strait.

I read that one PLA soldier was given eight North Korean girls as wives by Kim Il Sung.

Just 1 soldier? Sure worth mentioning.

Not only that, he wanted to use atomic weapons against China too!

That would have been very ugly.

My recollection is 5-year-old. What were the targets? 1 a-bomb for Beijing, 1 for Shanghai, and X for the Yalu River?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Itchyfeet
What were the targets? 1 a-bomb for Beijing, 1 for Shanghai, and X for the Yalu River?

Actually, Bhchao is quite right here. MacArthur's plan was to, as he put it, lay a radiocative belt north of the Yalu by dropping some 50 atomic weapons in the region. This was supposed (in MacArthur's calculus) to prevent the massing of Chinese forces in the region, a kind of nuclear era "natural" boundary to cut the Korean peninsula off from the PRC. Strange but true.

Quote:

Actually the war was started by the US and the South instigating a fight with the North. Before the North rolled over the border the US/South had on numerous occasions over a period of months started little skirmishes and crossed the border themselves.

Yonglan, I doubt that was the case. I originally thought the war was started by the North's rapid invasion of the South to unify the entire peninsula under communist rule, just like Ho Chi Minh wanted to unify North and South Vietnam under communist rule.

I believe Bruce Cumings, somewhere in his two volume work on the origins of the Korean War, argued that the south had provoked an attack, though, as other historians have pointed out, at the end of the day it was North Korean tanks that rolled across the 38th. There is little doubt that that there were skirmishes instigated by both sides though. (I think there might be debate on this matter in the link i gave re Weathersby and Cummings arguing with each other; again, my memory has failed me since I haven't read it for so long, but maybe its worth peeking at). Cumings makes a good point though when he writes (elsewhere, not at the link) that the issue becomes somewhat absurd when we consider the phrase "Koreans invading Korea." [This is from Cumings, "Korea's Place in the Sun: A Modern History"]. We should remember that at the time of the war both "Koreas" had as their stated intention the reunification of the peninsula, by force if necessary.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Cyberian
Actually, Bhchao is quite right here. MacArthur's plan was to, as he put it, lay a radiocative belt north of the Yalu by dropping some 50 atomic weapons in the region. This was supposed (in MacArthur's calculus) to prevent the massing of Chinese forces in the region, a kind of nuclear era "natural" boundary to cut the Korean peninsula off from the PRC. Strange but true.

Do you have an detailed article on this? Or anyone else? I would like to polish my memories.

All I found on was tiny paragraphs mentioning it.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Itchyfeet

Hi Cyberian.

My understanding (and I have noted this in my research on a different subject, but haven’t sourced it because of sloppiness!) is that a belt of radioactive cobalt would be laid along the Manchurian-North Korean border (as MacArthur explained to President-elect Eisenhower in 1952) and the use of as many as fifty atomic bombs against Manchuria would precede this action. I googled up the following which is a bit different on timing, though its possible he recommended this more than once, both during his time in the Korean theatre, and after his recall (ie to Eisenhower, when he was no longer in Korea). I think there may also be some confusion (at least in Weintraub citation below) between the use of cobalt and atomic bombs, ie the cobalt was apparently meant to follow the atomic bombs, and this is what would create the radioactive belt. I made this mistake myself (if it is that) in my post above, but, hey, I’m no scientist!

Anyway, here goes…

On December 24 1950 (shortly after Chinese intervention) MacArthur sent a list of targets to the Pentagon and asks for 34 atomic bombs to create "a belt of radioactive cobalt across the neck of Manchuria so that there could be no land invasion of Korea from the north for at least 60 years."

—Stanley Weintraub, MacArthur's War: Korea and the Undoing of an American Hero (New York: Simon & Schuster, 2000), pp. 263-264.

Here's MacArthur's actual quote (from "Text of Accounts by Lucas and Considine on Interviews With MacArthur in 1954," The New York Times, April 9, 1964, pg. 16]

“The enemy’s [DPRK and PRC] airpower would first have been taken out. I would have dropped between 30 and 50 atomic bombs on his airbases and other depots strung across the neck of Manchuria from just across the Yalu River from Antung to Hunchun. Between 30 and 50 atomic bombs would have more then done the job. Dropped under cover of darkness they would have destroyed the enemy’s air force on the ground, wiped out his maintenance and his airmen… It was my plan as our amphibious forces moved south to spread behind us - from the Sea of Japan to the Yellow Sea - a belt of radioactive cobalt. It could have been spread from wagons, carts, trucks and planes. It is not an expensive material. It has an active life of between 60 and 120 years. For at least 60 years there could have been no land invasion of Korea from the north. The enemy could not have marched across the radiated belt.”

Also check out this article by Bruce Cumings

http://www.coreapeace.com/news/english.php?code=223

Hope this helps.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Cyberian

Thank you for the lenghty article, Itchyfeet; it was satisfying.

1. What is the 'neck of Manchuria', the Yalu River?

2. I read some article on Cobalt-60, but they were all medical and accidental articles. Anyone got any idea how these cobalt-60 works? Are they 'salted' onto the area or something?

What kind of lunatic thinks of mass-producing this Co-60 and covering it across the neck of Manchuria!?

I cannot even fathon what this Co-60 can do if it was there active for 60-120 years.

I find the UN half a decade ago unrecognizable today.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and select your username and password later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.
Note: Your post will require moderator approval before it will be visible.

Guest
Click here to reply. Select text to quote.

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Sign in to follow this  

×
×
  • Create New...